• Jefferson County High School principal Dr. Molly
Howard named NASSP National Principal of Year
By Faye Ellison
Even before State School Superintendent Kathy
Cox’s helicopter landed on the front lawn of Jefferson
County High School, many knew it was a
Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2007, is now known as Dr.
Molly Parish Howard Day in Jefferson County.
This honor was bestowed on the principal of Jefferson
County High School shortly after it was
announced at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday that she has been
chosen as the MetLife/National Association of
Secondary School Principal’s (NASSP) National
High School Principal of the Year.
In a gymnasium filled with family, friends, colleagues,
JCHS faculty and students, Cox gave Dr.
Howard a high five when Assistant Superintendent
Dr. Donnie Hodges told the crowd gathered that
this was the most fulfilling moment in her educational
career as she announced that Dr. Howard is
to receive the national recognition.
Representatives from MetLife and the NASSP
spoke of Dr. Howard’s achievements as an innovative
leader. Since 1995, Dr. Howard has led the
school’s faculty and students through the rocky
beginnings of consolidating Louisville and Wrens
high schools, guiding them to be recognized as one
of the best high schools in the state of Georgia.
Since the school’s inception, Dr. Howard has
worked closely with teachers and other staff to
make sure students feel safe and appreciated all
while learning at a high level.
“I would not hesitate to say that Molly has the
best rapport and trust with students in this state
– even the nation,” Superintendent Carl Bethune
said last week. “Students know she cares.
not reluctant to use tough love, humor, a display
of raw feelings, or a good cop/bad cop routine
to get to the truth and make decisions in the best
interest of students.
“Just walking down the hall with her, I see students
from all walks of life giving her high fives,
hugs and quiet smiles.
Notes from students are
taped all over her office door seeking her advice
and wanting her help.
The philosophy of JCHS
is clear – do whatever it takes to keep students
in school and to make sure that students feel safe
“I have seen her go get a student out of bed to take a test, use creative scheduling to get credit recovery and stand on the sidelines with the players at every football game. She does all she can to ensure that students are not allowed to fail or drop-out.”
Many officials in the community including school board members, mayors, city council members, commissioners and law enforcement were on hand Tuesday to congratulate Dr. Howard
“The board and staff of the Jefferson County School System congratulate Dr. Howard on this well deserved national honor and recognition,” School Board Chairman Jimmy Fleming said before the event. “While she possesses all the technical skills and knowledge required of a great principal it is her heart and soul that makes her such an effective educator and school leader. She truly cares for and desires the best for her students and staff. We are truly thankful and privileged to have her associated with Jefferson County Schools. Congratulations, Molly.”
During the ceremony honoring Dr. Howard in the JCHS gymnasium Tuesday, she received awards from the NASSP, MetLife and State Superintendent Cox.
NASSP President Barry Stark recognized Dr. Howard as the best among the best high school principals in the country.
“She is receiving this award for her innovative leadership and her dedication to Jefferson County High School,” Stark said.
Cox has worked closely with Dr. Howard to teach other schools how she makes JCHS work and reach new heights each year.
“The thing I love most about Molly Howard is that she sets the bar for you students way up here…she really expects you to do great things,” Cox told the students Tuesday. “It doesn’t surprise me that she won this award. If you have never heard her talk about you, to someone else, you’ve missed something. She talks about her students with pride, dignity, hope and love every time she talks of you.”
Cox recognized that Dr. Howard has taken the graduation rate from 52.6 percent in 2003 to 68.1 percent, and said she knows Dr. Howard will not be satisfied until 100 percent of Jefferson County’s students graduate with a meaningful diploma.
“She comes to Atlanta with ideas, motivation, drive and passion,” Cox said. “She has ideas about what we need to do across Georgia.”
The several times Dr. Howard was called to the podium during the ceremony, she was met with cheers and the sound of hands clapping as students, teachers and others who attended recognized her achievements.
In her 30 years of education, Dr. Howard said the moment was worth every single minute of it. Recognizing her administration and students, Howard said she was blessed.
“I am most privileged to work with the greatest faculty and staff and students anywhere in the United States of America,” she said. “I would not trade places with anyone in this world. Warriors, this day belongs to you. You have all earned this award. You’ve allowed me to lead. You do the real work, teachers and students; you do the work in the classroom every day. That’s where the magic happens. This is all about you.”
• Parents will be held responsible
for minors out after 11 p.m.
By Faye Ellison
In a move to curb juvenile violence,
the city of Louisville voted
to adopt a new juvenile evening
The ordinance was signed into affect
by the council Aug. 14.
“It basically limits persons under
the age of 18 from being out unsupervised
from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.,” Police
Chief Jimmy Miller explained, adding
that there are some provisions
for special cases, “Unless they are
going to and from work, there is an
emergency or some sort of school
The city and Police Department
hope the new curfew will cut down
on citizens in Louisville being victimized
by these juveniles.
makes sure that the juveniles
causing crime will be punished along
with the parents who have failed to
keep track of where their children are
and what they are doing, according
to Chief Miller.
“We had to have something to
try and curtail some of the kids that
are out roaming the streets all night
long,” Miller said. “They are creating
assaults on people, break-ins
We hate to have to start
to dictate when they can come and
go and what time they have to be
in the house, but the parents should
already be doing that. Sometimes
we have to do what we have to do
to change some of the problems we
have going on.”
City Administrator Don
Rhodes said that this is something
that was brought to the
city’s attention at meetings.
“We have had several citizens
come to council meetings
and talk about teenagers loitering
on the street corners,”
“The citizens that
came wanted council to adopt
an ordinance because they had
heard other cities had something
to that affect.”
The city of Wrens also has
a curfew for juveniles on its
“This targets the parents,”
will not only fall on the child
with juvenile law but on the
parents. The first offense will
be brought before the court
and the parents will be given
a warning. Any subsequent
offense will be a fine or punishment
deemed suitable by
“With the changes of juvenile
rules, we can only cite
them. We can cite them 50
times and nothing can be done
about it. Until now, there was
nothing to deter it. We knew
we had to find some other tool
to work with.
will be looked at in December
to see if it has taken care of
the problem we are dealing
Miller admitted that for the
past 18 months to two years,
there has been an increase of
weapons, mainly guns, on
the streets in the hands of
“They used to fight, but now
they pull guns on everybody,”
Miller said. “Guns seem to be
Recently a juvenile was
charged in a burglary at Dairy
Queen and other thefts and
Last week, Vincent Tarver,
19, and Darrell Washington,
17, were charged with simple
assault after shooting out street
lights and pulling a gun on a
17-year-old victim threatening
to shoot him.
As recently as Saturday
night, Miller said two juveniles
approached two people
and robbed them at gunpoint.
“These were young 15-
to 18-year old kids,” Miller
said. “And it was all because
their moms and daddies don’t
know where they are and the
juvenile system won’t let us
do anything with them.
“Down the road these kids
will be in some trouble from
this. We hope the curfew will
keep them off of the streets
and stop the confrontations.”
During the summer, reports
have been made of the Sunday
afternoon loitering that happens
in the Broad Street area
of downtown Louisville.
“There were a few instances
where there was fighting down
there and that stuff came from
out of town to here,” Miller
said. “We’ve had reports of
gunshots down there, too. A
lot of that occurs on late Sunday
They seem to
leave one area in the county
and come here as a place to
gather. The proof is in the
litter on the street Monday
Miller as well as the city
hopes that the actions taken
to pass the curfew will save
the lives of the victims as well
as the juveniles.
“If we don’t take some
sort of proactive response
now and try to get these kids
headed in the right direction
and get the parents to take
some responsibility with the
kids, we will have some serious
things down the road with
Miller said that right now
they are trying to get the news
of the curfew out to the parents
and other citizens, but the Police
Department will begin to
cite juveniles and parents at
the end of the month.
“Any help we can get is a
benefit,” Miller said.
see them walking up and down
the streets, call in and report it.
It can be anonymous and we
will respond to it.”
Miller also asked for citizens
to call in any reports of
By Faye Ellison
For the last two weeks, incumbents
and candidate hopefuls have
been qualifying across the two county
area to fill the seats that are
up for grabs in the upcoming special
elections and November election.
Cities with seats open are Wadley,
Avera, Stapleton, Gibson, Mitchell,
Edgehill, Louisville and Wrens.
The city of Edgehill was to hold a
special election on Sept. 18 to fill the
unexpired term of council member
Roy Black on the city council, but
now will not.
This page has been accessed times.
During the qualifying
period held two weeks ago, no one
qualified for the position.
There are currently two council
members and a mayor for the city.
A spokesperson for the city said
that the council and mayor can
choose to appoint someone or hold
qualifying before the next special
election date in March.
The city of Mitchell held qualifying
for three council members last
week whose terms expire on Dec.
31. The council members are Amy
Borton for Post 3, Hubert Pulliam
for Post 4 and William H. Wilcher
for Post 5.
Incumbent Borton will retain her
seat while Dewayne Faglier will take
Post 5 and Lynn Pulliam will take
Post 4. No election will be needed.
Gibson also held qualifying for
two city council positions held by
Warren Pittman and Paul Hinton
and for Mayor Gregg Kelley. Qualifying
for the council seats were Dean
Reese and incumbents Pittman and
On Nov. 6, the two with the most
votes will take the seats on the city
council. Incumbent Kelley was
the only person who qualified for
The city of Stapleton will not hold
an election in November. Council
members Jason Irby and Kayleigh
Sheppard were the only citizens
who qualified for the two council
seats. Mayor Harold Smith’s seat
also expires at the end of December,
but no one qualified to fill it.
The city clerk said that the Mayor Pro-tem will start the year off and it is up to the city council if they will hold qualifying for the special election in March.
The city of Avera held qualifying for three council seats held by Charles Padgett, Leisa Hadden and Warren Mathis.
Padgett and Mathis both qualified for their seats, along with Ronnie Hadden who will take Mathis’s seat. No election will be held.
Incumbents in Wadley will hold on to their positions which included Albert Samples and Edith Pundt.
In the city of Louisville, Tom Watson is unopposed.
He was the only citizen to qualify for his council seat.
The seat currently held by James Davis, who did not qualify this year, will be filled by Larry Atkins or Elmo Hutchinson who will face off in November.
The city of Wrens will have the most action on the November ballot with five qualifying for council seats and two for the mayoral seat. Incumbents Sydney Lamb McGahee and Ceola B. Hannah, along with Earnest Rozier, Wylie Prescott and Wayne Favors all qualified for the council positions. Incumbent Dollye W. Ward and William Lester Hadden both qualified for mayor.
Hadden was serving on the city council and resigned to run for mayor. A special election will be held concurrently
with the Nov. 6 regular election to fill the unexpired council seat of Hadden.
The qualifying period for the seat will be Monday, Sept. 10 through Tuesday, Sept. 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Qualifying will be conducted
by the City Clerk in the Wrens City Hall building
at 401 Broad Street.
The qualifying fee for the office is $72. Anyone who plans to vote in the election that will be held Nov. 6 should register by the closing of business Tuesday, Oct. 9.